What you’ll need.

I’ll spare you any further abuse (who am I kidding, no I won’t) which you deserve for choosing a useless major. The good news is that (somewhat ironically I think) your degree isn’t as useless as you think. The schools you’ll want to teach at require at least some proof that you’re not a total ignoramus. And while a degree is certainly no proof of that (I have one, after all) it’s good enough for them.

It should be mentioned that it’s entirely possible to teach without a Bachelor degree. Some schools are willing to accept whatever talking head they can find, so long as that head is talking in English. But we can do better than middling pay at a disreputable school. You’re a talking head with a degree after all, right? In addition, many countries now make work permits for expats conditional upon having that piece of paper, as if studying poli-sci somehow made you worthy of a job. I won’t tell them if you won’t.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it’s often easier to find work if one has Anglo Saxon-toned skin. Many places have misguided notions of what a ‘Western’ person is and their association of whiteness with English would be nothing other than racist if it weren’t mostly borne of naivety. And while you can rightfully rage against the unfairness of this, it exists nonetheless. However, despite all this, and with the caveat that this is only personal experience talking, the world is changing. In the past decade, I have seen schools in several Southeast Asian countries go from a whitewash to hiring every hue of the skin tone rainbow. Yay for diversity.

While I’m talking of work permits, let me add that you’ll want to collect all the required documents before you leave because once you’re in country, sending something to or from your home country becomes a serious pain in the ass. How do you know what documents are necessary? Check the laws for whatever country is stupid enough to let you in.

Typically required are:

A police check, both state and federal (for US citizens). Ahh, a trip down memory lane. 2 underage consumptions, one charge of identity fraud (fake ID required to buy the alcohol for the previous 2 offenses), disorderly conduct (alcohol is a hell of a drug) and a slew of (mostly sober) traffic violations. You should be alright, dear reader. We both know you’re too boring to have a rap sheet.

University transcripts: besides written proof that you studied bullshit, many schools also want to see how well (or not) you managed said bullshit. I’m sure they’ll be floored by the A you got in ‘Cultural Studies’.

A teaching certificate. Don’t shit your pants, it’s not what you think. As crazy as it sounds, reputable schools will want you to have at least a modicum of training. There are many programs out there, some of which can be done either in your home country or destination, or even better yet, online. Google TEFL or CELTA and you’re on your way. They’re cheap and easy enough for your broke and dumb ass.

Your documents will typically need to be notarized and/or translated, so check the laws of wherever it is you want to go. Make sure you get as much of it done as possible before you depart.

Depending on your destination you may want a battery of vaccinations, more to assuage your mom’s worries than anything else. Unless you’re riding trannies bareback in some Bangkok parlor, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything more than your mundane cold or flu. Mosquito borne illnesses are rare and the prophylactics are often worse than the actual disease. The ones for malaria in particular are infamous for their bizarre side effect of making people mental. Google it if you don’t believe me.

There are typically Facebook groups for expats living in your destination, so check with them for any hard-to-come-by creature comforts. Many of the things you take for granted might not be available overseas. Like Funyuns. What the fuck…

Last, don’t forget your childhood teddy or blankey or whatever you hug at night to make you feel safe without mom around. Homesickness is inevitable and while FaceTime can certainly help, there’s nothing quite like a tangible piece of home (unless of course the only real thing you have are scars from your stepdad’s beatings).

Finally, though it goes without saying, I feel compelled to say it because it’s your dumbass I’m dealing with — don’t forget the most important, unAmerican thing you can’t do without: a passport. The only question is, where should you go.

Your miserable little life.

So you’ve just finished college with a useless degree, no clear future, and a shitload of burdensome debt that will hang around your neck like an albatross for the next decade of your pitiful existence. Welcome to the world, dear Millenial. You should’ve studied something useful, like a trade or medicine. But no, instead you majored in philosophy or art history or something equally bullshit. What the fuck were you thinking? Well, fear not, young man or woman or whatever gender you weirdos identify as. All is not lost. In fact, consider this the next chapter of your life. A new beginning.  A fresh start. The world is your oyster and all that clichéd tripe . But no, really, it is. All you have to do is open it. ‘Opening Oysters’ — strong band name potential.

The first thing you need to do is pay off debt. You probably have a credit card or ten because companies prey on stupid college students like you who don’t know any better, who don’t know that that shit will haunt you for the rest of your life if you fuck it up. And you’re reading this because you fucked it up. Well done. So, student loans, credit cards…at least be grateful no bank would have been stupid enough loan you anything else. Were they?

Here’s what you’re going to do. Unless you’re totally broke , you shouldn’t need to defer your student loan payments. If you are one hundred percent, flat-on-your-ass broke, go out there and sell it. Your ass, I mean. Yes, sell it. You deserve it for being so fucking stupid. At least it’ll get your debts paid off. But maybe you’re too ugly to do even that. Maybe no one would touch your ass with a thirty nine and a half foot pole. I know I wouldn’t. Well guess what, dear Millenial. All is not lost. In fact, you can do something far more productive and rewarding and enlightening and thrilling and profitable than getting your ass pounded in the backseat of a Toyota Corolla for a measly fifty dollars. (If you can get a hundred, though…)

What you’re really going to do is…

Wait for it…

Drum roll…

Keep scrolling …

Teach English abroad. Boom. There it is. You’re going to hightail it out of that shithole you call home and make your way to another shithole. But don’t worry, the new shithole will be far more interesting with better food and nicer people that don’t care if you’re black or white or gay or straight or fat or thin. Can you speak English? There you go. That’s what they care about. That’s your ticket to not just financial stability, but broadened horizons and a cultural awareness that, let’s face it, you weren’t going to get by staying in that shithole you call home.

But I know you, dear Millenial. Can’t do anything by yourself. You’re probably still living with your parents, convincing yourself you’re not a loser for doing so, that it’s the Boomers who’ve fucked up the whole world for you and now you’re just living in it. Well, that might be, so guess what I’ll do? I’ll show you the way. I’ll hold your precious little hand as you find your way overseas to educate various shades of brown people who speak in strange tongues. It’s easier than it sounds and more rewarding than anything you’ve done in your miserable little life.  What I’m going to do, what this whole blog will be devoted to, is making sure you don’t suck at teaching English.

You’re welcome.

Now let’s look at what you’ll need.